Star Wars Ewok Adventures - Caravan of Courage / The Battle for Endor
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Star Wars Ewok Adventures: Caravan of Courage / The Battle for Endor Join your favorite Star Wars characters, the Ewoks, in this double feature collection, and enjoy hours of fun and entertainment for the whole family. These action-packed adventures take us back to the forest moon of Endor for a reunion with the young Ewok hero Wicket, and the brave warrior Teebo. **Caravan of Courage~~ In Caravan Of Courage the Towani family are separated when their shuttlecraft crashes on Endor. While the parents are soon captured by the giant known as Gorax, Mace and Cindel, the son and daughter, are missing. When the Ewoks discover the missing Towani children in the remnants of the shuttlecraft, it becomes clear that the children must establish trust with them in order to embark on an adventure to rescue their parents. The Battle For Endor In the Battle For Endor, an army of Marauders, led by King Terak and the witch Charal, attack the Ewok village. Cindel and Wicket escape into the forest, where they meet Teek and Noa. They must befriend Noa in order to team up to defeat the Marauders.
- Includes Caravan of Courage (aka The Ewok Adventure) and The Battle for Endor
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The Ewoks happen to take center stage in this double-feature DVD... and yes, if you hate the Ewoks you probably are better off skipping it. If you can stand or like them, then your mileage may still vary -- I thought it was merely okay, if rather contradictory to the movies and with some weird elements that don't feel like they belong in the Star Wars universe.
The two movies in this DVD tie together, and share a human cast -- a family of four that crash-lands on Endor sometime before the events of ROTJ. In "Caravan of Courage," the parents of said family are kidnapped by a fearsome giant, leaving children Mace and Cindel to fend for themselves. They're eventually found by Wicket the Ewok, who takes them to his village for protection, and leads them on an expedition to find and defeat the giant and rescue the children's parents. In "Battle For Endor," the Ewok village is attacked by a band of aliens simply called the Marauders, who are after a ship component that they might use it to leave Endor and reach the stars. Cindel and Wicket flee for their lives, and soon end up at the home of a crotchety old hermit named Noa and his speedster-alien friend Teek. With help from their newfound friends, they must somehow defeat the Marauders and their ally, a sinister sorceress named Charal... and find a way for Cindel to leave Endor and return home.
These movies were made for TV in the '80s, so one probably shouldn't be too harsh a judge. The special effects aren't quite up to par with the original trilogy, but are quite good for a TV-movie venture of the day. The acting is pretty bad, though -- neither Cindel nor her mother can emote much, and while Mace's actor tries his best, his dialogue can sound a little awkward. If you can sit through the prequel movies, though, you can probably suffer through the acting of this piece unscathed. Also, Burl Ives serves as an entirely unnecessary narrator in the first film and sounds bored out of his mind the whole time... though at least Wilford Brimley (aka the Quaker Oats guy) provides some grouchy, snarky humor as Noa.
I have two big beefs with these specials, however, ones that I think a lot of Star Wars fans will have. First, there are elements to both specials that feel weirdly out of place in the Star Wars universe. I know many people will tell me that "the Force is pretty much magic," but it has never been established that the Force can do many of the things shown in these movies -- shapeshifting, transforming objects into animals, "magic" artifacts, ponds imbued with supernatural qualities, etc. I know the Force is capable of doing incredible things in the movies, but even it has limits.
Second, there are odd plot holes in this special. The Ewok village was located in the treetops in ROTJ -- why is it suddenly on the ground? I understand budget concerns might have been an issue, but it's an odd choice story-wise. Also, the presence of a Force-strong witch on Endor seems odd -- the Expanded Universe explains that she's a Dathomir witch, but how she (or the Mauraders for that matter) ended up on Endor is never explained. The Expanded Universe also ends up bending over backward to explain the presence of horses and ponies in the Star Wars universe, both of which crop up here... but still, they're bound to make viewers do a double-take when they see them.
While not necessarily a BAD set of specials, "Caravan of Courage" and "Battle For Endor" aren't exactly stellar either. They're good time-killers, will entertain kids, and are interesting viewing if you've watched the movies and are curious to see more Star Wars material. Just don't expect them to adhere to the established Star Wars universe, either the old "Legends" canon or the current Disney canon...
These movies were made for kids and not the people like me who saw the original STAR WARS movies in the theater as a kid but are now in their 30s. Really though to be able to get two movies on DVD for about half the price of a tank of gas to me sounds like an okay deal. People really should lighten up and take into account the audience these TV movies were made for.
One bright spot in these movies are some quite ambitious special effects (for TV at least).